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Monday, April 27, 2020

In Poland reopening means new challenges

With 11,761 confirmed cases and 539 total deaths Poland is doing much better than most of the Western countries. That gives them confidence that they can begin easing restrictions imposed over a month ago. Even German politicians are asking to ease restrictions on cross-border travel. There were even protests over the weekend of the workers who demonstrated against rules that prevent them from going to work on a daily basis.

However the reopening means new challenges. Capt. Jacek Siewiera, PhD in medical sciences from the Military Institute of Medicine, in charge of military medical assistance-training mission in Chicago who also commanded earlier assistance activities in Italian Lombardy, when asked by the Polish Press agency, what conclusions from the current activities may already be forwarded back home, he assessed that Poland, compared to other countries, is in a good situation when it comes to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

- The right decisions meant that we quickly introduced social restrictions and the level of horizontal transmission of the virus is not high - noted the captain.  - My advice would be to choose a very transparent strategy to move away from social restrictions while very much involved in the development of infrastructure that will ensure proper treatment for patients dying from COVID-19, because the wave of cases will definitely take place - emphasized Siewiera. - With each loosening of the rules of social distance, we will have to face another wave of illness - he added.

He emphasized, however, it is impossible to function with full social and economic restrictions. - I am in favor of letting the time that has been given to us with the right decisions that were taken at the right time and with a great discipline of Poles be used well. We have a duty to use this time to prepare ourselves properly for an increase in the number of infections - said Siewiera. He added that it is not only about the proper preparation of the health care system, but the entire public apparatus. - This is not a task that only health care can handle. For this you need to use the military, police, fire departments, and all other services - he noted.

Updated on Sep. 17, 2020